The storm raged around them, continuing to light up the sky like flares. Only a second or two separated each bolt from its corresponding rumble. Matt gripped the wheel tightly. Their drive home was less than ten minutes, but the weather outside was drawing his nerves taut.
“What do you think is going to happen?” Curt asked. “What do you think the council will decide?”
“Well, that’s anyone’s guess right now. I think the law is on our side. But you never know what people will try to push through these days. Beaumont isn’t the only town dealing with issues like this one. But I’d like to think the council will decide the Ten Commandments monument isn’t worth it. Because if they do erect it, we will launch a lawsuit.”
Not that Matt looked forward to that. Though an attorney himself, he dreaded the notion of legal action, which would mean many more meetings like the one that had just ended. Such a course of action wouldn’t endear Matt to the town, either. Most of the time, his minority religious position that no god existed flew under the radar. Until moments like this one.
“But you won’t need to worry about that,” Matt said cheerfully, smiling at his son. “You will be living large at Binghamton University, strutting around like you own the place, no doubt.”
Curt smiled, before a bolt of lightning streaked to the earth, striking a nearby tree. The flash turned into flames, as splinters of wood sprayed away from the blast zone.
Matt hit the breaks out of instinct, but the car hydroplaned across the slick road. When the breaks failed, Matt hit the gas, instead. Curt released a cry as half the tree emerged from the flames, falling toward the car. Matt reached out for his son, even as the weight of the tree crushed him and everything went dark.
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